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dlparch

Flywheel vs. starter

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I'm second owner of this well-maintained boat that has been used 15 summers. It has 610 hours, all on one freshwater lake, in a private covered dock, out of the water. Last year I finally replaced the steering cables and the exhaust manifolds during the off-season. About 2 weeks ago, after tubing 5 muscled teenage boys who just would not quit (5 hours!), I believe I hydrolocked the engine when I shut it down immediately upon docking. Not knowing that it was hydrolocked, I tried starting it about 10 minutes later, and heard what could be labelled as an “expensive noise”. This is a term of art and involves metallic grinding, but I’m pretty sure that’s when I damaged the starter and/or the flywheel. Hoping it was just bad starter, I replaced the starter (ARCO) on the dock, and saw that the flywheel teeth are now “toothed” (see pic with starter removed) and there were metal shavings on the old starter. The new starter only whirs. I trailered the boat to the marina, resolved the hydrolock, spun the engine completely to determine I wasn't missing flywheel teeth, but the consensus among the mechanics is the flywheel has to be replaced. This means outdrive comes off and engine gets pulled. I've resigned that my season is done, but I'm sure this engine could use the TLC to get me to more years.

So, my thinking is to use this time wisely, give the mechanic some guidance and allowance threshold about replacing anything that needs it. I trust them completely. The mechanic mentioned a small through-hull fitting that should be replaced. My outdrive was serviced in 2011 (gear lube, etc.): does anyone know what else should be addressed for this possibly (hopefully) once in-a-lifetime event?

Here’s some additional thinking, since I’ll have access:

· Finally get the extended swim platform, if I can find an OEM ESP for a ’99. Cecil’s website sent me to the local supplier (Plano Marine) who said nope. I've been trolling local part yards, Craigslist and EBay for years, waiting for a new/used OEM platform to come up, but they're rare. I think one came on Ebay around 2010, and the guy who spotted it here bought it. I really don't want the aftermarket ones and would like to continue to hold out until I can get an OEM one: I agree with Shepherd that they look best.

· Install the 60 pound Smart tabs.

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As a temporary fix you might be able to have a starter repair shop adjust the shims to allow it to go deeper into flywheel until its engaging the teeth. Then do repairs over winter.

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That pattern looks so much like a incorrect starter was installed. It never fully engaged ALL of each tooth.

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NEVER NEVER tell anyone to replace whatever needs to be replaced................You MAY NOT have $ 30,000 dollars to pay the bill...........A ripoff bill has happened MANY times in marinas & by a single mechanic on a service call.

Ask. Do you see any dangerous conditions or parts ? Tell him you need to think about the parts. A truthful statement. Since you should have the boat checked by a DIFFERENT & different owners , marina.

We have 2 of 3 marinas owned by the same company with different names.

They really can be out to get you. :)

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I don't know if this is going to help, but when my starter went out they recommended that I put in a (high torque starter ). They said it was the replacement for my old one. Number one it was a little smaller in size and the teeth did not mesh, with or without shims and it made a terrible noise and did not start my boat. So I had the original one rebuild, problem solved. With only 600 hrs I would look into the starter first. Also test the new starter to see if the gear is being thrown forward when you put power to it. Just because it is spinning, that does not mean that it is en-gauging. Denny.

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If you motor is "hydrolocked" you are screwed. I highly doubt that is what you did and that has nothing to do with the starter/flywheel. A hydrolock occurs when water gets in your cylinders usually by way of the water jacket inside the manifold rusting through. A hydrolock causes catastrophic engine failure and your engine usually will have to be rebuild around the block.

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That pattern looks so much like a incorrect starter was installed. It never fully engaged ALL of each tooth.

It was OEM. Perhaps the throw eventually shortened throughout it's life: I (we) did not measure the throw. All teeth were present on starter also. After they removed it, the shop bench tested the old one, and even with the corrosion present it extended and ran, albeit a bit balky.

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If you motor is "hydrolocked" you are screwed. I highly doubt that is what you did and that has nothing to do with the starter/flywheel. A hydrolock occurs when water gets in your cylinders usually by way of the water jacket inside the manifold rusting through. A hydrolock causes catastrophic engine failure and your engine usually will have to be rebuild around the block.

You're probably right. Maybe the term should have been "water ingested": there was a small amount of water in one cylinder only. Thinking was it had leaky manifold gasket, and we also replaced that.

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You're probably right. Maybe the term should have been "water ingested": there was a small amount of water in one cylinder only. Thinking was it had leaky manifold gasket, and we also replaced that.

Well that would be a leaky riser gasket, not a leaky manifold gasket. The manifold gasket only deals with exhaust, not water.

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Pretty classic starter failure symptoms - could be just coincidence that it happened when it did. As a previous poster said, if you had hydro-locked your engine, I would expect significant engine damage. Looks like your Bendix gear wasn't engaging properly. If you haven't seen how these work, look at the attached YT video (the last minute in particular).

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If you motor is "hydrolocked" you are screwed. I highly doubt that is what you did and that has nothing to do with the starter/flywheel. A hydrolock occurs when water gets in your cylinders usually by way of the water jacket inside the manifold rusting through. A hydrolock causes catastrophic engine failure and your engine usually will have to be rebuild around the block.

It doesn't have to be catastrophic, though it can be. My 454 Mag had a bad habit of hydrolocking (happened 3 times). But cleaned it all out ASAP, replaced the impeller and if ran fine afterwards

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